Lou Kraus, 79, of Brule, passed away Sept. 17, 2019, at his home.
Lou was born June 12, 1940, at Holyoke, Colorado, to John P. and Barbara K. (Zieons) Kraus. He graduated from Sidney St. Patrick’s High School before studying music education at St. Benedict University and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He would later earn his master’s degree from the University of Wyoming. Lou farmed and taught music at Riverton, Wyoming, before returning to Nebraska in 1981, when he moved to Ogallala. A few years later, Lou opened a music store in downtown Ogallala. On June 7, 2003, Lou married Carol Abbuhl at Ogallala. The couple made their home west of Ogallala.
Lou had a tremendous passion for music and was a masterful musician in his own right, though one of his most gratifying chords resonated when he could connect a young person with an instrument and an appreciation for music. Lou enjoyed traveling when he got the chance and developed a great fondness for San Blas, Mexico. Lou went to San Blas every year, and often took with him musical instruments, bicycles and other gifts for the locals there, who were a veritable family to Lou. The people of San Blas truly held a special place in Lou’s heart, and that sentiment was indeed reciprocal.
Lou was also a great lover of cars, and he had a robust collection of them. Among his favorites were a ’69 Camaro and a 1928 Plymouth Coupe that he’d owned since he was 12 years old.
Lou liked to have fun, and it wasn’t ever hard to solicit his laughter. He even had fun “loading the dishwasher,” which he would lightheartedly describe as pouring his wife a glass of wine. Part of Lou’s enjoyment over the years also came with his involvement in local bands. He played countless venues, and no matter where he was, or who he was playing for, Lou always enjoyed himself. A husband, father, grandfather, musician, entrepreneur, philanthropist, car collector, storyteller, adventurer, teacher, mentor and dear friend to many, Lou Kraus was an uncommon treasure. Lou’s life was a joyful melody, and though it’s now finished, its recollection yet brings a smile.
Lou was preceded in death by his parents; brothers, William and Karl; and step-daughter, Mary Premer.
Survivors include his wife, Carol of Brule; his children, Jeni (Troy) Wehmeyer of Ogallala, Alicia (Miguel) Patrick of Grant, John Kraus of Ogallala and Kathy (John) Woodmancy of Grant; grandchildren, Bryce, Breezy (Drake), Gabrielle (Justin), Rachel (Conner), Katie, Tessa (Nick), Joel, Kayla (Derek), Peyton, Jacob, Margaret, Bernie (Joe); great-grandchildren, Lily, Everly, Tallulah, Mary and Trent; his siblings, Doug (Esther) Kraus, Marty Ising, Marietta (Len) Johnson, Karl Kraus, Tom (Janet) Kraus, Gerry (Shari) Kraus, Chris (Janice) Kraus, Kay (George) Meeks, Bill (Patti) Kraus, and Pat (Joan) Kraus; stepchildren, John (Melinda) Palic; Roseanne (Kipp) Banchert, Julie (Otto) Sloan and Mike Premer; step-grandchildren, Ashley, Connor, Lauren, Lynsey, Riley, Tyler, Nadia and Surita (Michael); special friends, Luis (Heidi) Juarez and their children, Diego, Rihanna and Marissa, all of Ogallala.
In lieu of flowers, a memorial has been established with the intent to fund a youth music scholarship. Condolences may be shared at prairiehillsfuneralhome.com, where the service will be livestreamed for those unable to attend.
Funeral mass will be at 10:30 a.m. Monday, Sept. 23, at St. Luke's Catholic Church, Ogallala, with Father Bryan Ernest as celebrant. Burial of cremains will be at the Grant Fairview Cemetery. Memorial book signing will be from 1-4 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 22, at the Prairie Hills Funeral Home, Ogallala. Rosary and wake service will be at 6 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 22, at St. Luke's Catholic Church. Prairie Hills Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.